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Your Favorite Chewing Gum Is Likely Full Of Plastic; Nuud Wants To Be Your New Plastic-Free Brand

by Bill McCool on 04/16/2021 | 3 Minute Read

Plastic is hard to avoid in our daily lives. Even if you’re the kind of eco-conscious citizen that wouldn't be caught dead without your S'well bottle and somehow remembers to bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store, chances are, you’ve been chewing on plastic all this time without even realizing it.

That piece of gum you’ve been gnawing at all morning? Yeah, that’s single-use plastic.

Many brands list gum base as one of their ingredients—it's basically what keeps your gum long-lasting and non-biodegradable. By labeling it as gum base, chewing gum brands can get around disclosing many of the plastics you’ll find hidden inside, like polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate, butadiene-styrene rubber, petroleum wax, and a whole lot of other hard to spell words.

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Launching this past week in the UK, Nuud is a proudly plastic-free chewing gum brand that’s plant-based and sugar-free. Not only that, but it’s vegan and will biodegrade just like a banana peel.

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“Most people don’t know that regular chewing gum is made of single-use plastic and isn’t compostable. UK councils spend around £60 million a year cleaning up gum from our streets. We want to tackle this and effect a whole scale change in behavior when it comes to chewing gum,” said Keir Carnie, founder of Nuud, in a press release. “Our brand is designed to encourage this shift in a fun and engaging way. Made from the sustainably harvested tree sap chicle, Nuud gum decomposes as quickly as a banana skin—we want to bring this biodegradable choice to a mass audience.”

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Bringing that environmentally-friendly option to more consumers meant crafting a bold visual identity, and Nuud turned to Mother Design for an expressive, friendly piece of branding.

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Working in collaboration with Carnie and their incubator arm Broody, Mother Design turns up the fun while simultaneously making a transparent and defiant play on the front of the packaging with a strapline reading, “chew plants, not plastic!” The package gets dominated by type, and the wordmark gets turned into a playfully crafted smiling mouth. The upstart brand also included a gender-neutral mascot with Charlie that comes courtesy of South Korean illustrator Daye Kim

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Editorial photograph

Charlie and the logo also get utilized as animations, adding a whimsical presence across social media, merchandise, and other branding touchpoints. Above all, it makes Nuud approachable and gives it some light-heartedness and frivolity—sure, the mission is to turn you off to single-use plastic, but there’s no stern finger-wagging or militantly aggressive messaging here. Just clean, minty-fresh fun.

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“Nuud is tackling a serious issue but doesn’t want to come across as too worthy,” said Thomas Humeau, design director at Mother Design, in the same press release. "Inspired by other food categories that often make use of a mascot, we introduced Charlie to help the brand communicate its passion and inform users with levity.”

So, if you’re looking to kick your plastic chewing habit, Nuud is now available. Get to chewing and, yes, biodegrading underneath a desk at a later time.

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